Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Liturgical Fashion Police

We're all for proper respect in our places of worship, but this makes me wonder what (or rather if) the Church was thinking when it issued this dress code.

At first glance, it appears harmless enough... but it's easy to see how some could take this over the edge. Listening to a couple of priests on the radio yesterday, you could see that they, and likely many other priests, could take this code as mandatory and not merely recommendatory. One was even saying how there is a biblical basis for requiring women to wear veils, and that implied that only men should wear pants in Church! Another priest then piped in with a clearly baseless opinion that even maong pants would be frowned upon.

Next thing you know, some overzealous lay minister will be standing guard at the chapel door turning away the "improperly" attired faithful.

The problem is, at a time when some slippers cost more than shoes, and when it is so hot and humid that - for some - wearing (decent) shorts is really more conducive to prayer and worship - who's to say what fashion is proper?

Church issues Mass dress code

The Philippine Star

The Archdiocese of Manila Sunday reminded the faithful that there is a proper dress code for attending Mass.

The archdiocese’s Ministry of Liturgical Affairs (MLA) said wearing the proper attire when attending Mass is an important part of showing respect to the sanctity of the house of God.

In guidelines posted at parishes and chapels, the MLA said the faithful should wear formal, semi-formal or smart casual attire when attending Mass.

Male Catholics are encouraged to wear long-sleeved polo shirts, collared shirts, or t-shirts paired with either slacks or jeans. Women are asked to wear dresses, long gowns, or collared blouses.

The guideline said corporate attire and school uniforms are also allowed inside churches. However, no guidelines were issued regarding footwear.

The faithful are strongly advised not to wear caps, basketball jerseys, tank tops or jersey shorts and shorts during Mass. Women are also asked not to wear spaghetti-strap tops or tank tops, short skirts, skimpy shorts or sleeveless shirts with plunging necklines when at Mass.

MLA assistant minister Fr. Godwin Tatlonghari said in a circular sent to parish priests, chaplains and shrine rectors under the archdiocese that the guidelines were a response to "many requests" they received from conservative parishioners.

"They usually cite the increasing number of people who come to Church to attend Mass or other liturgical functions garbed in a way that disrespects the sanctity of the house of God and the sacredness of the liturgical celebration," Tatlonghari said.

He said the MLA has produced posters that clearly show the proper attire for church. He added that these posters will be distributed to all parishes, chapels and shrines under the archdiocese and its suffragan dioceses.

Tatlonghari also said he will ask priests to post the guidelines in areas that are easily seen by people visiting their churches or chapels.

Painting: "Dalangin" by Manny Garibay. 20"x30" Oil on Canvas (2004).

1 comment:

goody said...

I think it is better that before you give any comment, you first have to verify your "quotes" coz if you see the original letter regarding the dress code, the term "CONSERVATIVE" was never mentioned. Just be responsible when you quote, because a writer is good when he or she verifies before he or she writes.